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THE RECEPTION OF JESUS AT NAZA
(Luke iv. 16-30.)
AND Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath-day, and stood up to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the Prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to publish glad tidings to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted; to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind; to set at liberty those that are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
And he closed the book and gave it again to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in
the synagogue were fastened on him. Then he began by saying to them, “This very day the scripture which you have just heard is fulfilled." And all extolled him, and wondered at the words, full of grace, which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, "Is not this Joseph's son ?"
He said unto them, "Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, cure thyself.' 'Whatsoever we have heard that thou hast done in Capernaum, do the same here also in thine own country.' "But," said he, " verily no prophet is well received in his own country. And I tell you of a truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up, and there was no rain for three years and six months, so that there was a great famine throughout all the land; yet unto none of them was Elijah sent, but unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of
Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian."
And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the synagogue; and they led him to the brow of the hill, on which their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he, passing through the midst of them, went away.
When our Lord began to speak to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth, they were well pleased with what he said; but when he went on to reprove them for their prejudices, and told them that he would do no mighty work there, because he knew that a prophet had no honour in his own country, they rose up, and would have put him to death; which shews that they had a hasty and violent spirit, and that they would not bear with any one who told them of their faults. We must take care that we be
not like them. Not only should we listen attentively to those who are so kind as to teach us, but we should not be offended if they reprove us, and shew us in what way we do wrong.
When these wicked people would have put our Saviour to death, he was saved in a miraculous manner by God himself; for, had he died at that time, he could not have finished the great work of his ministry. But we must not suppose that God will do the same for all the wise and good, when they are persecuted by the wicked. He suffers many evils to befal them in this world; but in the next he will bestow a glorious reward on all those who earnestly strive to do his will, and who persevere unto the end, notwithstanding all the pains and troubles which they bring upon themselves by their adherence to duty.
JESUS SENDS FORTH HIS TWELVE APOSTLES.
(Matt. ix. 35-38, x. 1—16, 28—33.)
AND Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and publishing the good news of the kingdom of heaven, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were wearied, and were left to themselves, like sheep without a shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest."
And when he had called to him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease. These twelve